The champions of the (free software) world have responded to Microsoft’s recent privacy and encryption announcements, saying that Redmond’s efforts are all in vain.
Microsoft made several promises regarding user privacy recently, and confirmed that it was making efforts to protect customer data from government spying. But according the FSF (Free Software Foundation), the company cannot be trusted because they are using proprietary software.
The executive director of FSF, John Sullivan, responded with the following comment:
“Microsoft has made renewed security promises before. In the end, these promises are meaningless.
Proprietary software like Windows is fundamentally insecure not because of Microsoft’s privacy policies but because its code is hidden from the very users whose interests it is supposed to secure. A lock on your own house to which you do not have the master key is not a security system, it is a jail.”
Sullivan further explained that while the promise of increased transparency sounds good, in the end it amounts to nothing — it is impossible for end users to review the underlying code.
Strong words, but then again, these are to be expected.
You can take a full look at what the foundation is getting at, at the link above. There is obviously a small, select group that lives and breathes free software top to bottom. Most Windows users, however, are fine with running both proprietary and open source applications parallel to one another.
And chances are many will continue to do so, going forward.